Monday, February 28, 2011

Play Dough Day

We FINALLY had a snow day. From the weather report the night before we were really hoping that everything the weather man teased us with would really happen. Our youngest immediately asked for a play dough day. Like the good Daddy that he is, my husband ran up to the store for a few packets of Kool Aid so I could make play dough if we did wind up with a snow day.

When our alarm went off this morning, my husband immediately grabbed the remote control and tuned into the local news. I was so excited I fell immediately back to sleep. Hubby went to tell the kids to sleep in. Sometimes we have amazingly obedient kids. :-)

Homemade play dough is a tradition in our house. It's a winter staple. It is very simple to make and it is also very quick. You really don't need the Kool Aid, but it does make the play dough smell pretty good. Food coloring will work just fine if you would rather use that. I use both.

Start with one cup of white flour in a saucepan.

Add 1/2 cup of table salt.

Add 1 Tablespoon of cream of tartare.

Add 1 Tablespoon of vegetable or canola oil. I used canola oil.

And finally add 1 cup of water to the pan.

Whisk everything together to form a nice smooth paste.

Like this.

Turn the heat onto medium and trade your whisk for a sturdy wooden spoon that can get into the corners of your pan.

It does not take long for things to start looking pretty ugly. That's what you want though. The trick is to use your muscles and give the whole thing a good stir while it thickens up.

When the dough pulls together and forms a ball, dump it out and let it cool off for a bit.

When the dough is cool enough to work with, sprinkle a package of Kool Aid onto the dough. I am using grape flavor for this batch.

To knead in the Kool Aid, just start folding one corner of the dough over so the dough is folded in half. Then press down so the dough flattens out again.

Now grab another corner, fold it over, flatten and repeat. You are kneading. :-)

This purple color is not doing anything for me, so I am going to add a bit of food coloring and knead it in.

That is a bit better.

For storage, I mold the dough into blocks to store in a plastic container.

You can store the dough in any air tight container you have.

I wound up making 7 batches. The white dough in the middle does not have any Kool Aid in it. I left it dough colored and because I am all out of vanilla, I used a few drops of almond extract to give it a good scent. I also added about 1/4 of silver glitter to it. It was just a fun touch, but not necessary. For the brown dough, I added about two tablespoons of cocoa powder to the dough. It smells incredibly good. Don't try tasting this stuff though. It is pure yuck.

After that, the kids went crazy with it. They played "Iron Chef: Play Dough" for close to three hours. I gave them an assignment and set the timer. When time was up, I awarded a first place and second place prize for each round. The kids kept track of their wins. Here are some of their winning creations.

Summer Time Treat: Root Beer Float

Favorite Fast Food: Pizza

Favorite Snack: Mandarin Oranges with Blueberries. Also pictured with Lemon Pudding Pie and Bruschetta

Favorite Breakfast Food: Pancakes

What I am most proud of, is that our almost 17 year old played along and had just as much fun as our 11 year old daughter. I love that the kids spend face time with each other playing with something creative and with each other. Go Play dough!

For a printer friendly version of this recipe click here.

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